My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Cover of My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix.This book follows a friendship from its inception, at a middle school roller-rink party, until its end. Abby, the book’s protagonist, is a scholarship student with working poor parents in Creekside, South Carolina. Abby’s best friend, Gretchen, is from a well-heeled Reagan Republican family in Old Village, “the la-di-da part of Mt. Pleasant where all the houses were dignified and either overlooked the water or had enormous yards, and if anyone saw a black person walking down the street who wasn’t Mr. Little, they would pull their Volvo over and ask if he was lost.”

One night, some ordinary high school debauchery goes very wrong, and Gretchen disappears––only to reemerge literally “not herself.” It’s up to Abby to figure out what’s wrong, because nobody else seems to notice, or care, that her friend is changing in new and alarming ways.

This book’s plot progression reminds me of The Witch. As Abby tries to help Gretchen, she’s alienated from all her friends, her friend’s parents, her teachers, her principal, even her own family. This progression is more horrific than the gross and supernatural events that accompany Gretchen’s possession.

I read this book over a couple of days, foregoing work and sleep to finish it. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in horror novels, or anyone who wants to surf the wave of 80s nostalgia. If any of this appeals to you, give this book a try. Hendrix is a gifted writer, and I look forward to seeing more from him in the future.

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A.O. Monk

A.O. Monk lives in the USA, drinks lots of water, and writes stories about imaginary people, places, and events.

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